Here are six tips for keeping the entire family, from youngest to oldest, cozy and snug on the coldest winter days.
1) The Right Clothes. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” Ever heard that skiing adage?
So, what’s bad gear? Bad gear is anything that isn’t made for skiing or winter sports. If a coat and snowpants aren’t made for snowsports, they will probably not be warm enough. Wind and water-resistance are a must. Another adage: Buy your kids ski clothes of the same quality that you buy yourself.
2) Layer Upon Layer. Baselayers should be wool or polypro. Avoid cotton. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet. Wool and other wicking fabrics take moisture away from the body and help keep you dry. As for socks, one pair of thin wool or polypro socks is all that is recommended. If the boots fit correctly, one pair of proper ski socks will keep toes warm while still allowing them to wiggle.
3) Fingers Together. For kids, I think mittens are the only choice. They are much easier to put on little hands and if the little hands do get cold, mittens allow kids to ball up their fingers to conserve warmth. When just mittens aren’t enough, we use thin polypro glove liners, as well as disposable hand warmers.
While I haven’t yet had a chance to thoroughly test these mittens, I am intrigued by a new line of mittens for kids, made by Snowstoppers. Snowstoppers mittens have an extra long cuff that stays tucked under ski jacket sleeves. The cuff also makes them easier to pull on and they come in the tiniest of sizes! Look for a full review in the New Year.
4) Keep the Cold Away. Bundle up before you go outside. This means helmets and mittens on and coat zipped up before you leave the car, condo or lodge. Don’t let the cold set in!
5) Stay Fueled. Hunger and thirst can make anyone colder. Just a small amount of dehydration makes it harder for the body to regulate its temperature. Drink water throughout the day, especially if you are skiing at high altitude. Also, carry snacks in your pocket. Cheese sticks, fruit chews, juice boxes, even M&Ms, will help a tired, cold child (and parent) warm up.
6) Break It Up. Don’t ski when you’re miserable. If you have a cold, unhappy (perhaps miserable?) child, you’ll be miserable. Take warm up breaks in the lodge before your child complains of the cold. A short break for water, or maybe hot chocolate, and you’ll be good to go, all day long.
- How To Keep Your Kids’ Hands Warm This Winter, October 10, 2011.
- How Do I Tell If My Kid’s Ski Boots Fit? And More Importantly, How Do I Keep My Kid’s Feet Warm? October 14, 2010.
- How Cold is Too Cold for Skiing?, February 22, 2011.
Portions of this post originally posted at Liftopia.com blog, January 11, 2011.
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